Poynter published a story this week detailing the American Society of News Editors’ efforts to get a general count for the number of journalists of color that are in U.S. newsrooms, both on- and offline. The short version of the story is that most of these huge news organizations either refused to disclose the numbers, or have pathetic numbers.
This is preposterous on many levels, especially given our coverage of the Census and news that Latinos will be making up a huge percentage of the U.S. population now and in the future. From the story:
In April, the American Society of News Editors completed its second attempt at measuring diversity at online news organizations, but the Huffington Post did not participate.
Bloomberg and Politico also say that their policies are not to disclose such information, even though Politico’s editor-in-chief, John Harris, sits on ASNE’s board. So does Anthony Moor of Yahoo, another non-discloser.
What’s going to continue to happen, then, is that the news is going to become increasingly elitist and written by people who do not represent the general population of the U.S. Case in point, I wrote a story last year about how Census figures were being skewed by the mass media to make it seem as though Latinos were purposely discriminating themselves from other races, when the more likely explanation is socioeconomic and comes down to where people can afford to live.
Multiply this one story by the thousands published daily and you can get an idea of how important it is to understand the world we live in to be able to accurately report about what’s happening in it.
[Image Courtesy Clipart]